From The Inbox

Man of few words made them count

Reader salutes Peter Alliss for the ‘great enjoyment’ that the late commentator derived from broadcasting about golf

Peter Alliss was a wonderful character who was not only a very good golfer back in the 1960s and ’70s but worked on course designs with Dave Thomas (“Peter Alliss, known as ‘Voice of Golf,’ dies at age 89,” Dec. 7).

Alliss was an excellent commentator on televised golf. He never said too much, and I am sure that golfers around the world enjoyed his often-witty comments, especially during the major championships.

He obviously took great enjoyment from commenting on golf, more often than not letting the golfing stars show off their skills. For nearly 50 years, he made golf on television more interesting and brought a great amount of joy to viewers. He will long be remembered.

Mike Wilson
Innerleithen, Scotland

Hit it, Alice … er, Alliss
When one comes up short on a putt, one might say, “Hit it, Alice!”

I made that mistake once while playing with Karrie Webb in an LPGA practice round. I was embarrassed for not being politically correct, and apologized to her. She corrected me, saying that it actually was Peter Alliss who said, “Hit it, Alliss!” while in contention to win a tournament live on BBC TV … an exclamation now known around the world.

RIP, Peter Alliss, the best golf commentator ever (“Peter Alliss, known as ‘Voice of Golf,’ dies at age 89,” Dec. 7).

Bob Ractliffe
Naples, Fla.

Net result: Handicaps make no sense
Reader Patrick Scott was making a point about male vs. female competition, but he worded a sentence in such a way as to remind me of my longstanding consternation about the prevalence of handicaps in golf (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 7).

Handicaps are very common in the game, but I’ve always wondered: Why?

Scott’s statement, speaking to female golfers, was, “If you want a handicap, concede that it's a staged competition of inequality and take ownership to the ruse.”

To which, I say, speaking of handicaps in general: exactly.

Oh, I understand the stated purpose of having handicaps in golf. It is supposedly to allow players of unequal abilities to compete against one another. But, is that really “competition”?

Let’s say I were a scratch golfer and I played world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. He probably would be giving me seven shots per nine holes. Under those conditions, let’s say I won.

Would I strut around bragging how I “beat” Dustin Johnson? No. I didn’t really beat him in anything. Only through his charity did I “beat” him.

Rigged competition is not competition at all. 

If you’re going to “compete,” play by the same rules. Then, you have a true and legitimate winner.

And, then there’s the rampant cheating and sandbagging that is involved with having and establishing handicaps for “competitive” purposes. The system is rife with fraud.

I’ll never understand it, and probably never will.

Jon Lucas
Little Rock, Ark.

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